The Dichotomy Of Gender In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Gender in Frankenstein In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley tells the terrifying tale of Victor Frankenstein whose fascination with Science leads to his constructing of a frightening monster. The novel goes through Victor’s journey from making the monster to realizing the horror he has unleashed into the world. However, there is much more to this story than the aspect of terror. Upon first glance, there seems to be an unequal dichotomy of men and women throughout the novel. The few female characters are portrayed as weak and submissive to the multiple male characters. However, further analysis can reveal that Shelley purposely composed her book this way in order to satirize male personalities and to show the need for women. The inequality of men and women in the novel stems from the majority of the characters being male with the exception of a few female characters who play minor roles in the plot …show more content…
Shelley’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a known feminist who advocated for women’s rights along with women’s education in her work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which was one of the earliest pieces of feminist philosophy. Although Wollstonecraft died just days after Mary Shelley’s birth, she still played a major role in her life. Numerous accounts mention Shelley visiting her mothers grave very often, and Wollstonecraft’s feminist views were present in Shelley’s life especially when she ran off to France at age sixteen with her soon to be husband Percy Shelley, who was already married to someone else (Geller). Much like the character Safie, Shelley went against her father’s wishes to be with the man she loved. Therefore, Frankenstein can be viewed as a reflection of Shelley’s own life as a woman in the 1800s with feminist

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